Tea is a gorgeous aromatic beverage consumed by thousands of people all over the world. As we all know, tea & kettle are like twin bros. Many people can easily make their cup of tea but sadly don’t know how to use a tea kettle properly.
In this article, I have presented a detailed discussion of different aspects of using a tea kettle so that you can learn the proper use of a kettle.
Table of Contents
A Short Lesson on How to Use a Tea Kettle
Let me start with this; many people directly make tea right inside the kettle. However, traditionally tea kettle was meant to boil water, not to actually ‘make’ the tea. Making tea in the kettle makes it harder to clean due to the residue left by the tea leaves.
Besides, in a whistling kettle, it may cause the whistle to get clogged. That’s why get used to ‘only’ boiling the water in the kettle rather than making the whole tea inside it. After the boiling is over, pour the boiled water over the tea leaves into a tea cup or pot.
Boiling the Water in The Kettle
Firstly, when you plan to boil water, make sure that the kettle is placed on the correct-sized burner. Using a bigger burner than the kettle may burn the outer body of the kettle.
Secondly, fill the kettle half with water before putting it on the burner. Do not overfill it; you should not fill it above the spout.
These are the main parts of the boiling process. Never boil a kettle dry; it may make the kettle super hot and cause you to get injured. Besides, it will also harm the kettle. Always maintain the heat between medium to high while boiling water.
Pouring the Water Into the Teacup
Pouring the boiled water from the kettle is a little bit intimidating, and one needs to be careful while doing it. If there’s no stay-cool handle in your kettle, then use a potholder to hold the kettle.
Keep your body away at a safe distance from the kettle and pour at a low angle. Pouring from a higher angle may cause the water to splatter and create chances of burning from the hot water.
Taking Care of Your Tea Kettle
After using it every time, you should empty the kettle and wash it with warm soapy water. It is essential if you directly make tea inside the kettle. Avoid using rough cleaning materials like steel wool; it may harm the external surface of the kettle. After cleaning the kettle, make it dry and store well. All of these will increase the longevity of your kettle.
If you want to wash your kettle in a dishwasher, note that some kettles are dishwasher safe, some aren’t. The stainless steel kettles are dishwasher safe, while porcelain kettles or those which have a hard-anodized exterior are not. To be safe, wash your kettle by hand. It’s simpler and just requires a couple of minutes.
Mineral deposits in your kettle may create a big problem over time. A solution of cold water and vinegar can be an excellent remedy for this.
The process goes like this –
- Fill the kettle with 50% water and 50% vinegar solution.
- Put the kettle on the burner and provide heat until it reaches up to a boil.
- Put off the heat and allow it to simmer for 5-15 minutes(based on the intensity of the mineral deposit buildup).
- Finally, rinse out the kettle with warm & soapy water. If you still see mineral deposits, then repeat.
Whistling Tea Kettle
Those who don’t like to check the kettle continuously to find out whether the water is boiled or not, a whistling kettle is a perfect solution for them.
Sometimes we place the kettle with water on the burner, then get busy with other activities and completely forget about the kettle until the water has thoroughly boiled away! This is not only harmful to the kettle but also disappointing.
A whistling kettle will serve you better, as it gives a signal when the water starts to boil and there’s no need for checking it continuously.
The kettle has a device on the spout. When the steam from the boiling water is blown through the device, it makes a whistling sound. The steam tries to escape but does not find a way out as the lid is placed tightly (if it isn’t, no whistle will be heard). The device on the spout is the only way through which the steam can get out. This is the reason for the whistling sound made by the kettle.
Many kinds of teas should be made at a low temperature than the boiling point of water. To do this in the right way, you just need to heat the water to the right temperature. There’s no need to take it up to the boiling point.
When the water is boiled, the concentration of oxygen is decreased to 0. This phenomenon harms the flavor of those kinds of teas. However, the impact is not that significant, and you can also do this by cooling down a bit after the water has boiled.
To hear the whistle appropriately, you have to ensure 3 things.
- Place the lid properly.
- Keep the water level under the spout.
- The residue left by the tea leaves may cause the whistle to get clogged. To prevent this, keep your kettle clean and try to avoid making tea inside the kettle.
Without maintaining these 3 things, the kettle may not whistle properly.
Using Kettle on The Stove and Making a Cup of Tea
Well, all of us probably can prepare a cup of tea as this is not rocket science. However, having just a rough idea and doing the real thing is different, right!
To prepare a regular cup of tea using a kettle (here we will be using the whistling one) on the stove goes like this –
- Fill your whistling kettle half with water. Place it on the burner and turn on high heat.
- While the water is getting boiled, put about 1-2 teaspoons of tea leaves on the strainer, or if you are using the teabag, put it inside the cup.
- Once you hear the kettle’s whistling sound, take away the kettle from the stove. Use a potholder (as stated earlier) if your kettle doesn’t have a stay-cool handle.
- Pour the boiled water at a lower angle over the strainer or the tea bag into the cup
- Steep for approximately 5 minutes, and your cup of tea is ready.
It’s better to check the preparation instruction on the package to know the exact time for steeping. Also, checking the instruction is essential because some tea preparation requires a special temperature of the water.
Another thing, if you don’t use a strainer, make sure to remove the leaves or the tea bag while promptly pressing the leaves against the cup’s sidewall to squeeze the flavor completely.
Safety Tips for Using a Tea Kettle
- As the water will be hot after boiling; proper care is needed to be safe. Never leave the kettle unattended on the burner. Keep it away from the little ones or pets.
- Fumes generated from PTFE coated kettles can be harmful to pets, even life-threatening to birds. In these circumstances, never overheat the kettle.
- If the base of your kettle is made out of aluminum, never boil it dry. The aluminum can get melted. If the bottom is made of copper or stainless steel, it can get discolored or warped if you allow it to boil dry.
Copper, silicone-polyester, or enamel kettle bases can get fused to the stovetops and burners due to the overheating of the kettle if those are built with glass. Another important point is, do not drag or slide the kettle if your stovetop or burner is built with glass.
The Debate: Electric Kettle vs. Traditional Kettle
Both kettles have their pros and cons. Electric kettles provide more features and boil faster (if it is of higher wattage), while the traditional stovetop kettles can boil at a higher temperature. Depending on your requirement and choice, select the right one.
As a parting thought, the kettle’s type and brand may affect the flavor and quality of your cup of tea significantly. That’s why choose wisely when buying a kettle.
I hope you have got a clear idea of how to use a tea kettle by now. Next time you stare at your kettle, probably all of these things may come up in your mind altogether! Keep this piece as a guideline.